Asbestos Testing & Surveys Explained

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), there are over 5,000 asbestos-related disease deaths per year in the UK currently including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. 

Asbestos was used in the UK construction industry from the early 1900s and in some plants, equipment, and machinery until its ban in 1999. Its affordability, durability, heat-resistance, and electrical insulation properties made it an excellent choice for fireproofing and insulation.

Though asbestos was banned in 1999, buildings, plants, equipment, and machinery in existence pre-2000 may still have asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). Though, asbestos as a mineral in itself is harmless unless when spalled, damaged, and disturbed- mostly during maintenance, repairs, and demolition. 

Tiny asbestos fibres are released into the air putting the building occupants or workers at risk of diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis when inhaled-years after exposure

Because of this, legal, state, and local regulations are put in place to guide the installation, monitoring, and removal of asbestos.

At All About Asbestos, we are one of the leading providers of asbestos removal, testing & surveys in Maidstone and the surrounding areas. Get in touch to arrange for a quotation today.

 

Why is Asbestos Survey and Testing Important?

 

 

Duty-holders, purchasers and owners should be aware of the presence or absence of ACMs in buildings and plants, so they can be safely managed or removed.

 

And it’s crucial before undertaking any work that may disturb ACMs. It’s difficult to tell with precision the precision and locations of ACMs in the building just by visual inspection. Because some of the ACMs might be buried underneath other materials. The only precise way to unmask ACMs is by conducting an asbestos survey. The survey is a material assessment that unmasks ACMs, and records their location, and quantities. An Asbestos survey also provides information on the accessibility, condition, surface treatment of the ACMs , and asbestos type.

 

In fact, asbestos surveys are commonly conducted as part of due diligence during commercial real estate transactions. And under the Control of Asbestos Regulations, non-domestic premises built before 2000 are required to have a management asbestos survey in place.  It’s also recommended to conduct an asbestos survey after significant flooding, water damage or other natural disasters to evaluate the conditions of ACMs.

 

There are two types of asbestos surveys that can be carried out:

  • Management Asbestos Survey: this is usually carried out until building users are aware of the presence, locations, and conditions of ACMs so they can be monitored for any potential deterioration. Though this might not be required in domestic buildings, it’s required for shared areas.

           

      The output of a management asbestos survey is usually an asbestos register and a management plan.

 

  • Refurbishment And Demolition Survey: this is usually carried out prior to structural works that could disturb ACMs. This survey provides extensive information on the location and types of ACMs.   

 

Alongside the asbestos survey, asbestos testing is carried out. Single or bulk samples are taken under strict control conditions and sent to the lab for analysis.

 

Who Benefits From Asbestos Testing and Survey?

 

Owners, contractors, electricians, plumbers, construction workers, HVAC engineers, and other professionals at risk of exposure to asbestos fibre due to disturbance of ACMs while working on site benefit from asbestos testing and survey.

Asbestos testing and surveys provide the insights they need to take necessary precautions and protect themselves. And remember that you need to get professionals to help you carry out asbestos testing and surveys.

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